WHI IS BEHIND @THREADSTORIES? MAYBE YOU'LL NEVER KNOW... READ OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST.
Who is behind your IG account?
I am an Irish visual artist who prefers to remain know as Threadstories.
How was the idea born?
I was making a mask to wear to a music festival – Electric Picnic, when I stumbled on the technique and was instantly hooked. Each mask starts with a crochet balaclava, I then thread yarn through some or all of the stitches to build form or play with movement. I have now been making the masks for 3 years.
What were your childhood dreams?
I wanted to make monsters, I though I would study Special Effects Make-up eventually. Funny how things come full circle, the masks I make now might be considered monstrous, even though I had completely forgotten those early dreams.
What did you study?
I have a degree in Fine Art- Sculpture but I didn’t make artwork for ten years after I graduated, finally I stopped caring about the art world and what others thought and just began making work to suit myself, Threadstories was born.
How important are materials and which do you prefer?
Each mask is a sketch, I construct and deconstruct the same masks endlessly exploring the properties of different yarns and pushing the materials. Working intuitively I let the materials lead, no design or drawings in advance. I think with my hands. My studio is full of different yarns, I don’t over think what materials I will use ultimately it is the form that I am striving for, and it is this aspect of the process that excites me. I go by eye when choosing yarns sometimes it works and even when a mask doesn’t work out I have usually learned what not to do next time.
What kind of person can wear your masks?
I have just completed some commissioned pieces for music performers so I am interested to see what they will look like and how they will chose to wear them. Until now the masks have been made to fit my head only, for me they are art objects not fashion accessories.
What are you inspired by?
I don’t have any one line of enquiry or source of inspiration. Everything from traditional basket making to Francis Bacons portraits to the sight of someone with really crooked teeth or an episode of Blue Planet might inspire a mask. Thematically I am questioning how the erosion of personal privacy online effects how we view and portray ourselves. I am constructing facades – masks in response to these questions. We are all so over exposed and to what end? Privacy is precious.
What are your next projects?
My first public exhibition will open in August, I received funding to make new work and will collaborate with London based film-makers Sixbetween on work for this exhibition. There are talks of some interesting commissions in the pipeline, which I am looking forward to getting started on. Creating masks for other people is still in its infancy but I enjoy the challenge and how it stretches my craft.
Photos courtesy of the artist